nut butter + light

For the next few weeks, I’m realizing I shouldn’t tell you to expect a recipe or post at a certain time.  Things are going to come up, everyday, at any given time.  That happened today and will happen for the next month.  I’ll get my nightly posts done, but the afternoon posts will be a whenever-it-makes-sense type of thing. 

I swear, all of these house happenings are like trying to plan a wedding in 3 weeks.  It’s a full time job!  Finalizing the IKEA kitchen took the brunt of the day, and I also had to meet a few people at the house for quotes.  Tomorrow is packed full again!  I’m hoping to make a big dent in the ordering: windows/IKEA kitchen + house furniture/Sears appliances

I’ve been holding out on you for a few days now.

My apologies.

Let me introduce you to chocolate chip cookie dough almond butter’s evil twin.

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Almond Butter

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been playing around with light in the past few food posts I’ve put up.  It’s been so much fun to play!  My favorite discovery has been photographing with back-lit light.  It doesn’t always look the best, but something it just really works.

This however, is a photo with the light coming in from the right and no light bounce in use.  I love the shadow that the bowls cast.

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This is light coming from the right, with a light bounce.  It definitely lightens up the left side of the nut butter, but also takes away the shadow.  I prefer the previous photo.  I feel like it has more character.

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This is back-lit.  I still prefer the light coming from the right side with no light bounce.

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This is back-lit with a light bounce that was placed in front of the table. 

me –>light bounce –> table + food <- light coming in the door

Make sense?  You can see a bit of the light being thrown back on the nut butter, in comparison with the darker photo above.

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Original cookie dough AB, front + center!  The only change to the new nut butter is the addition of cocoa and depending on your taste buds, you might want to add a touch more sugar.

Light from right, no light bounce.

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I’m really digging the no-light-bounce photos all of a sudden!  Sometimes the light bounce is really helpful, especially in the early morning, when there isn’t a lot of light coming in the window.  It helps bounce whatever light there is, back onto the food.  This study has made me realize I should evaluate every time I take a photo, if it is better with or without.  Previously, I would use it with almost every photo, without even thinking.

Light from right, with light bounce. 

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Almond Butter

  • 2c raw almonds
  • 2-3t pure cane sugar
  • 2-3t safflower oil [not always necessary, but neutral flavor oil works best to keep the cookie dough flavor]
  • 1/4t salt
  • 2t vanilla bean paste [or extract]
  • 2T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2t almond extract [key ingredient!!!]
  • 1/2c coarsely chopped dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Toast almonds until golden brown, turning 3-4 times, for about 10-15min total.  Watch carefully, so they don’t burn.
  3. Let cool 5min.
  4. Place in a heavy-duty food processor and turn on, scraping the bowl often to keep things moving. 
  5. Process until it finally starts to butterize.  This took about 6-10min, approximately. 
  6. Keep scraping and processing until smooth.  Be patient.  *If it’s been 10min and things still aren’t together, add 2t oil.
  7. Add in 2t sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract.  Process again until smooth.
  8. Add in cocoa powder.  Process again until smooth, scraping the bottom of the bowl + sides as needed. *It might be necessary to add another 1t of oil.  The cocoa powder will thicken things up a bit.
  9. Taste and add more sugar if it’s not sweet enough, but remember the chopped chocolate will add a bit of sweetness as well. 
  10. Once it’s nice and smooth, like the photo I show above in the food processor, empty into a bowl and put in the fridge for about 1hr, until room temperature.  The processed nut butter will likely be very warm.  If you mix the chocolate chips in at this point, they will melt. 
  11. Once the nut butter has come to room temp, stir in the chocolate chips.

Taste tests are encouraged!

*Almond butter is the hardest to process into nut butter, so be patient.  I have an 11c Cuisinart food processor.  If you have a 7c, I would suggest cutting this recipe in half or at least by 1/4.  If using an 11c, do not increase the size of this recipe, for best results.

*I recommend using pure cane sugar, instead of a liquid sweetener like honey or maple here, because 1 – I didn’t want a honey/maple flavor 2 – They tend to make the nut butters extremely thick and sometimes turns it into a nasty thick dough.  The cane sugar combined perfectly.

*I’m keeping this nut butter in a glass jar on the counter.  I only refrigerate my nut butters with ground flax.  They’re usually only around for about 3 weeks before I finish them off, so I don’t find it necessary to refrigerate.  I’m not sure what food safety protocol technically is in this manner…but I’m still alive!  I keep them in the cupboard, but you definitely can store them in the fridge.

Can you taste it???  I’ve been combining half of one, half of the other, on my morning breakfasts.


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Amidst all the running around today, I had to get in a good lunch.  I had a can of Amy’s split pea soup, but the flavor is pretty “meh” to me.  I dumped it in a pot on the stove, and added some mix-ins.  Great way to spruce up canned soup!

  • cayenne
  • garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • smoked paprika

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Topped with pepitas, with carrots + a toasted English muffin for dipping!  That is an Ezekiel sprouted English muffin, which I love. mm mmm mmm

A few of you have asked about the gluten reintroduction.  I’ll be posting more on that after the 2 week reintro period is over, which is next week.  Gluten is definitely part/most of the problem!  I’m still testing out different types though.  We shall see!

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Delicious lunch, then back to work!

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Sneak peak!  This modeling program is terribly annoying to work with!!


Our floors are being sanded down bright + early tomorrow.  They’ll be all finished in 2 short days and then it’s on to painting!

Snooze time!